Just so you know. I already wrote this once, forgot my cardinal rule of SAVE.SAVE.SAVE., clicked some God forsaken button I shouldn't have, and the page went blank. Got on chat with customer support only to determine that the post is gone forever. So, here's attempt number 2 and a picture of my June-baby for good measure:
2016 is not my year. Not even a little bit. At the risk of starting you out with a little bit of TMI, I will say that this year hallmarked itself week one with the love of my life dumping me. I can't necessarily argue with him and his actions as single life has its perks, but it is seriously the pits when your fully functioning relationship kicks the bucket point blank and you are left wondering where it all went wrong when things were going so good. (Have I dropped enough cliche statements yet? That was a good run-on sentence, right? I'm sure I can come up with a few more lines.) Poor me. Poor, poor, pitiful me. No more long hugs on the daily, no more pancake and bacon Sundays, no more Netflix Fridays lounging around on the couch, no more ice cream dates, afternoon drives, long talks about life and living. No more best friend. No more rock of support and encouragement, at least not from him.
Insert a few months of roller coaster emotions and waterworks, agonizing over how I could get him back, when I realized I had lost my ever loving mind. Why was I wasting all of my time worrying over whether some boy was thinking about me and how I could get him to spend time with me?! If he wanted me around, then he would have made time for me. As a self-respecting, independent woman, I finally remembered that life is too short to sit around being miserable about the past. My brain is finally to the point of "Okay. What's next? What're we doing? Where are we going? Let's get a move on." Then there was also the reminder that I have other rocks to stand on and that I can be my own rock all day every day. I still miss the hugs, but I'll get over it at some point.
During the roller coaster I also lost some of my creative mojo which was a huge bummer. I slumped in my efforts, stopped creating completely, and thought about just being done with pottery, but a couple of events threw some sparks back into the smoldering pit and reignited the old fire.
Every semester, the college, on top of all of its regular firings in the gas kiln, does one firing in the wood kiln. It's a HUGE undertaking that takes a lot of prep work - none of which I'm involved in.
The kiln runs for two days and has to constantly be stoked; therefore, a signup sheet is distributed the week before and everyone who has pieces in the firing has to sign up for a stoke shift. I'm always one of the last to sign up, so I get stuck with the crummy shifts like the 4 a.m. slot that I got this year. Or at least it sounds like crap until I get there and remember how stellar it is to work a shift. I showed up at 3:45 day-of and relieved one member of the previous shift. The night was calm, a rarity in windy Wyoming, with very few clouds in the sky - the stars popping through in crystal clear pins of light. No traffic, no movement, no sound other than the subtle roar of the fire.
Ryan, a ceramics teacher, stayed with me since shifts work in teams of two and no one else was showing up until 6. We talked about kilns, wheels, home studios, and school, stoking the flames in between thoughts. On either side of the enclosure we would take turns opening the small doors and shoving in logs and broken pieces of pine. I got to watch the sunrise and the world come back to life, and days later, when the kiln had cooled, we were all rewarded with the most astonishing pieces of pottery. They are one of a kind, unpredictable, and so completely perfect.
And here is a super poor quality iPhone photo of my favorite mug that came out of this particular firing. I'm biased, but I love it.
NEXT order of business. Right around the time of the wood firing, my very lovely friend Emily suffered the heavy loss of her job. Ever the optimist, she immediately turned the event into a positive and vested her time into her phenomenal design work. One afternoon, she shot me a text with a link to her blog asking me to check it out and tell her what I thought. First of all, she wrote about brownies so that already piqued my interest. Second of all, she has such a strong and unique voice that I was immediately captivated by her writing style which led me to wonder why I hadn't yet thought of releasing all of my creative thoughts to the internet. Yes, I'm playing copy cat, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Also, read her post about her Layoff Brownies. It's heavenly.
All right, last thing, I promise. Taking pottery classes at the college has been a breeze. I buy clay and supplies, then just show up and throw on their wheels, store my stuff in their space, use their glazes, and fire everything in their kilns. For one low bi-annual tuition payment, I'm home free. Except that, you know what? Even though they encourage creativity and production, they don't encourage over-abundance which if you've got a lot of time on your hands kind of just happens. Not that I have a lot of time on my hands, because I don't, but sometimes you're just on a roll and things happen. Half a dozen mugs here, half a dozen there, and before you know it there are fifty buffalo mugs sitting on the shelf.
Not wanting to take advantage of the school, I casually looked over Craigslist the other day to see if people sell things like pottery wheels on there figuring maybe I can start initiating some of this process on my own. Not only did I find a wheel, I found the perfect deal. It was old, it was used, but it was reliable and only one state away. The four hour drive seemed well worth it for the chance at creative freedom and a home-studio in my garage. Through rain, sleet, and snow, the totaled 8 hour drive left me with this baby.
And here's a brief glimpse of the intermittent weather.
I now have very high expectations of myself. I've dedicate time, space, and energy to this new project, I'm ready to turn out some new pieces of pottery, and it might just be due to the fact that it's springtime, but there is just something inspiring in the air. Or maybe that's just my allergies coming on.